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Poll: Now that I'm a freelancer, I find the job to be:
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:26
SITE STAFF
Mar 16, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Now that I'm a freelancer, I find the job to be:".

This poll was originally submitted by Damien Poussier. View the poll results »



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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Member
German to English
+ ...
Never really thought about it Mar 16, 2012

I've been freelancing for 15 years. Before that, I managed a 'proper' job for all of three months. So I guess the freelancing worked out OK!

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A. Petrunova
Bulgaria
Local time: 23:26
Swedish to English
+ ...
No expectations Mar 16, 2012

I never really had any expectations. I've been freelancing for nearly 11 years now. When I first started, I didn't really have a choice. Now I have come to enjoy it despite the disadvantages, because there are certainly many advantages to freelancing as well.

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Maria Isabel Pazos Gómez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:26
Member (2007)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Other Mar 16, 2012

I thought it would be difficult to find clients and easy to do my job and now I found out that it is the other way round

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Hebrew to English
Other: More boring than I thought Mar 16, 2012

...in the lulls between work mostly..(my language pair is a small market).

Also because of the isolation. I never really thought I was such a social bunny, but I crave a bit of office banter, a laugh and joke around the water cooler every now and then....don't really like the hermit lifestyle.

...but then again I don't miss office politics, incompetent power-crazed managers...

...so there is an equilibrium of sorts.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:26
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Mar 16, 2012

Mary Worby wrote:

I've been freelancing for 15 years. Before that, I managed a 'proper' job for all of three months. So I guess the freelancing worked out OK!


Okay, I had been working beforehand a lot longer, but never thought about it.

I was very surprised how few people were able to translate properly in my language pair and fields though

[Edited at 2012-03-16 09:05 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
As I expected Mar 16, 2012

Previously, I had only ever conceived of working as something one did for someone else, i.e. an employer. The notion of "setting up my own business" had never appealed to me, as I always saw it as much harder work than to just turn up at an office or factory somewhere and do a standard shift (or often, in many cases, simply going through the motions) then take the money and run.

However, thanks to technology a lot more people have the option to try doing things on their own and I don't think I could go back to working for a boss now, or commuting to and from a workplace every day, at least not without a very, very, very juicy incentive.

Nevertheless, I still don't see myself as "a business" or indeed all that "businesslike" and prefer a looser description, in fact something along the lines of "that translator geezer" would do nicely.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 05:26
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Other - Freer than I thought Mar 16, 2012

Ty Kendall wrote:
Also because of the isolation. I never really thought I was such a social bunny, but I crave a bit of office banter, a laugh and joke around the water cooler every now and then....don't really like the hermit lifestyle.
...but then again I don't miss office politics, incompetent power-crazed managers...
...so there is an equilibrium of sorts.


Ty, I quite agree. I'm also pleased that I'm not the only who jokes and talks to himself.

A huge luxury and advantage of our profession, though, is that that we have complete freedom to choose what to do, when and with whom.

Happy translating!


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 22:26
German to English
+ ...
Other Mar 16, 2012

I've been in the job so long that it was harder than I imagined when I started but it has certainyl got a lot easier.

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xxxInterlangue
Angola
Local time: 22:26
English to French
+ ...
Other Mar 16, 2012

I never really thought of it and tested free-lancing part time before I went all the way: was I going to earn enough to support us? How would I cope with uncertainty and complete isolation?

Those questions were answered before I went full time. Cherry on the cake is the positive relationship I have with colleagues and clients... very different and much more gratifying than contacts with my hierarchy and colleagues at school.
In the translation community I am part of, professionalism is key, with a humane touch. Comparatively, school was some sort of a jungle where you constantly had to fight for survival: professionalism was not really the point; bureaucracy and backstabbing were the rule.
I gave up teaching (read resigned) after 23 years, when I started having less and less in common with my students.


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patriciacharnet  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
English to French
+ ...
what I expected Mar 16, 2012

it is much easier now to get started, as there is much more support than ever before.

However, I was surprised by the amount of criticism among translators, some of which is not always properly justified. A lot of people just criticise for the sake of it. Finding good clients is not always easy, and doing your job easily depends a lot on the quality of the text you translate from, in my opinion.


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Lifeng Yang  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:26
Member (2010)
English to Chinese
+ ...
First Year Freelancing Mar 16, 2012

To me, building trust with new clients is the heaviest part.

Everything else is all just breezy.


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:26
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Agree Ty Mar 16, 2012

Ty Kendall wrote:

...in the lulls between work mostly..(my language pair is a small market).

Also because of the isolation. I never really thought I was such a social bunny, but I crave a bit of office banter, a laugh and joke around the water cooler every now and then....don't really like the hermit lifestyle.

...but then again I don't miss office politics, incompetent power-crazed managers...

...so there is an equilibrium of sorts.


To that end, I wonder if we shouldn't have a 'banter' forum? 'Off-topic' doesn't necessarily fulfil the function because it might be a language-related topic, just somewhere ' where we can muse without fear of being reprimanded for going off-topic (as I am currently doing)... 'Like' buttons would also be nice.


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:26
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
not a surprise Mar 16, 2012

I was a freelance journalist for years before turning to translation full time. In some ways, it's actually easier to find work and it's been more lucrative. I don't have to hunt people down; once i have clients, they come to me! and i don't have to come up with ideas. So it's been as I expected but easier in some ways.

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Marieschen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:26
English to French
+ ...
busier than expected! Mar 16, 2012

I thought it would be harder to start...

I wanted the freedom but feared the lack of business. It took me less than 3 months to work full time, or at least not to be starving anymore (but 2 more months to get paid, which was another - bad, this time - surprise).

I was also fearing a more bossy relationship with clients, especially agencies. I now have clients with whom I have been working of about 6 months, and the relationship is laid-back and respectfull.

Actually, the bigger surprise is certainly that I did not know if it was the good choice a year ago, and now I am so much happier than before


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